Germ Killing Robots Significantly Reduce Infection Rates in Hospitals

Gina Kokosky, Assistant Editor
Published Online: Wednesday, October 10th, 2018
A hospital in Arkansas adopted a new technology to ensure patient safety and improve hospital room disinfection.
Unity Health’s White County Medical Center became one of the first hospitals in Arkansas to implement Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots to disinfect hospital rooms and to create a safe environment for patients. The hospital has 3 LightStrike Robots to sanitize 30 hospital rooms per day in 4 different units, as well as in operating rooms after all daily operations are completed, according to Xenex Disinfection Systems.
The robots work by using a high intensity pulsing xenon ultraviolet (UV) light system to effectively disinfect rooms and kill high-risk pathogens, such as Clostridium difficile (C. diff), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). These microscopic pathogens can live on hospital room surfaces for up to 6 months if missed by manual cleaning and can make hospital patients and employees sick, according to the release.
“With the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, we decided to investigate the newest technologies to keep our hospital clean and our patients safe. After reviewing the clinical evidence we chose the LightStrike pulsed xenon UV robots which are operated by our environmental services team,” said Meghann Holmes, Infection Preventionist at White County Medical Center, in a prepared statement.  “We are very pleased to report that we have seen an 85% reduction in infection rates since implementing our three robots.”
This significant reduction in infection rates has reduced cost of treatment at the facility by $528,714, which is more than it cost the hospital to purchase the 3 robots, according to the press release.
With superbugs becoming resistant to antibiotics, and therefore, more difficult to kill, hospitals are turning to the new technology to keep these superbug-causing microorganisms out of the hospitals. Many hospitals have used the Xenex LightStrike Robots in peer-reviewed published studies that have shown a 46% to 100% reduction in C. Diff and MRSA infection rates in surgical sites, according to the press release.
White County Medical Center is being noticed for the effort. The facility became one of the first hospitals in Arkansas to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network and receive the Governor’s Quality Award twice, due to their dedication to better patient care.

Xenex has also honored White County Medical Center, as a Visionary Hospital for the future of clinical disinfection. Visionary Hospitals are facilities that prioritize patient safety, implement technology with outcomes that have been proven in peer-reviewed published studies, follow the best practices as recommended by the manufacturer, publicize results to help other hospitals improve, and share data for the benefit of human health, according to Xenen.
“We are honored to be their partner,” said Xenex Vice President of Sales and Account Management, Irene Hahn, in a prepared statement. “And we have proudly designated them as a Visionary Hospital for their great work in infection prevention.” 

Unity Health’s White County Medical Center Reports 85% Decrease in Infection Rates After Germ Fighting Robots Deployed to Disinfect Patient Rooms. Xenex Light Strike. October 3, 2018. Accessed October 8, 2018.

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